Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Reading The Trails
We loaded up our wee mini-van and spent 48 hours out in the woods near Bobcaygeon. Into the back I packed some helmets and the tiny Yamaha.
The cottage we were at is an ideal base for off-roading. It's at the end of a long gravel fire road deep in the woods, and it's surrounded by off road snowmobile trails. You couldn't ask for a better place to practice the art of riding off road on two wheels.
I really need to get my mits on an off road bike so I can go on those trails with my boy on his bike.
While I was lamenting my lack of a dual sport I went out on one of the ATVs and rode some trails with an eye for how a bike might make its way through three foot deep puddles and up rocky washed out trails. The ATV is like a tank, bashing its way through with brute force and massive wheels. You've got no chance of falling off and you pretty much knock your way through on a hugely over-square, balanced machine. A bike would be like a scalpel after using a butcher's cleaver.
The inherent lack of balance on a bike means pounding through those massive puddles would be a tricky proposition. I can't wait to try it. Since I started riding I've realized how many different ways there are to learn motorcycle dynamics, and off-roading will push those boundaries far more cheaply than track racing might.
I'm hoping to nail down an off road focused dual sport and some kit in the next couple of weeks and then I intend to spend a lot of time up on the trails around the cottage, falling off a lot and learning things I'd never get to learn on the road.
A lovely little Yamaha came up in Orangeville for sale. I'm hoping it's still available. It's a light weight, air cooled XT350, the grandchild of the venerable XT500. It'd also look good with with my son's PW80. Just two guys out on their Yamahas.
Here's hoping it's still waiting for me.